TIPS FOR BUYING TOPSOIL

Any gardener can face the situation of needing to buy topsoil. A perfectly common situation is that it's early spring, and the only good garden spot is filled with rock hard clay or gravel. In this case, as in many others, it makes sense to order a few loads of good topsoil. Another example can be a yard or garden where it is necessary to build up the soil level by a few inches. In any case, ordering good soil is important.

Is good topsoil expensive? It depends on the location. The highest price should not exceed $30 a cubic yard, while an average price is somewhere between $15 and $22 a cubic yard. To cover a 50 x 20 foot garden, with 9 inches of good topsoil at $20 a cubic yard, would cost approximately $550. This can be a real time saver, as the new topsoil does not need to be tilled, and one can start planting right away.

A soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0 is good for most plants, but you should have an idea of what you want to plant and its optimal pH. The chosen topsoil should also have lots of organic matter.

Asking local gardeners and nurseries is a recommended way to locate a place to buy good topsoil. Good soil producers should be well known in any community. It’s best to start by asking the people who know best, either fellow gardeners, or else gardening professionals. Talk to at least 5 nurseries and 4 or 5 gardeners; if 7 out of these 10 recommend one particular supplier, it’s a good bet that this supplier’s soil will be top notch.

One must select the mix of topsoil that one wants: most soil suppliers routinely mix sand, peat or other components into soil at specified percentages. One should check with the supplier to find out options are available and what these options cost. Make sure to buy screened soil; soil that has had the roots, rocks, and other naturally occurring debris removed.

The delivery of the topsoil is also important. It is important to take the time to arrange an appropriate delivery date. Try to check the local weather forecast, before arranging delivery, if possible. Try to arrange delivery when the weather is expected to be good and when it has not rained for at least a few days prior to the delivery.

If your garden is in the backyard and the delivery truck crosses your lawn, a fully loaded dump truck may leave deep – deep – tracks. It is much better, when possible, to avoid travel over the lawn. As soon as possible, in dry weather, distribute the new topsoil. Topsoil left for a few days will begin to compact under its own weight. If it rains, a few cheap tarps can be purchased to cover up the topsoil.

A word of caution for the wise: two important things to look out for are power lines near the dump zone, and under ground drainage or sewage pipes that may be affected. It is important to select a dumping area where power lines are not a hazard. If dump truck must cross a property, it is essential to avoid travel over buried sewage or drainage lines: the compression of the soil, by the fully loaded dump truck could crush them. Keep in mind that the dump truck will have to completely raise its box in order to empty the load of soil.

There is a marketing and communications association that was formed to assist entrepreneurs in the topsoil business and the general public. 1.800.TOPSOIL provides an easily remembered number where people can get information about the availability of good topsoil. 1-800-TOP-SOIL members include the finest Topsoil and Landscaping supply companies in the nation.

They currently have members spread throughout the United States. In order to find the topsoil and landscape supply company in your area, that is right for you, call 1.800.TOPSOIL.